Get organized with a chair pocket for under $2.00

A chair pocket is a wonderful way to organize writing tools such as notebooks and papers or store your books.

Recently, I was searching for a pattern to create a chair pocket. I love the ability to store your book in the pocket in the chair that you are using. You snuggle up in a chair and then just slip the book you’re reading into the pocket behind the chair for later.

However, I wanted to make chair pockets for my classroom. I want the children to be able to store their homework folder in the chair pocket so it won’t get smashed in their desk. I love organization. 🙂

So, I looked and looked at patterns. They all took a generous amount of fabric which makes the cost really add up when you multiply by 25, the amount I’m making. This cost didn’t fit my budget.

Then, I looked into buying them already made. Yikes! That cost over $200.00 for 24. Later, I toyed with the idea of using a tote bag for two reasons: 1. It was already mostly sewed which will save time. 2. I found some for 1.00 a piece.

So, I ordered them.

Well, when the tote bags arrived, they were the correct dimensions, but the stitching wasn’t strong enough to withstand the daily use of small children.

I thought, Now what?

That’s when I remembered seeing a pattern using a pillowcase. That’s it! 🙂 I tried it out and it worked well. So, the hunt began to find affordable pillowcases. I found these at Amazon and these at Wal-mart. I found them at Dollar General for $4.00 for a pack of 2.

However, I bought mine from Roses.  I got two standard size pillowcases for $2.50. (They cost less than anything else I found and have 300 thread count.) I’m thrilled that each pillowcase only cost $1.25 which costs less than if I purchased the fabric that went into the pillowcase.chair pocket

The great thing about using a pillowcase to create a chair pocket is that you only have to sew one seam. (One of the patterns I found during my search informed me that it took 12 hours to sew 24 chair pockets which I thought was a lot of time.) Since most of the sewing is already done on the pillowcase, you save a ton of time.

In addition to saving time, I saved money. I was able to make a complete chair pocket for less than $2.00. All the others I looked at were between $6.00 – $10.00 each. So, I’m absolutely excited to share with you how you can save time and money to have a wonderful chair pocket to store and organize your literacy items.

Here’s how you make a chair pocket from a pillowcase:

  1. Measure the back of the chair and the width at the widest part. (My tiny person chair back measured 12” long X 13” wide. The widest part of the back is at the bottom.) Since the chairs have a bit of a curve to them, I made an allowance of 1/4”.

  2. Search for inexpensive but well constructed pillowcases. There are all kinds of materials available, but I prefer cotton. It is easy to work with and sew. I found mine at Roses. chair pocket

  3. Open up the pillowcase. Turn it inside out.

  4. Measure the width you need for your chair. I measured and cut mine at 151/4” which left room for seam allowance and the curve in the chair. (Oh yeah, I used pinking shears so that I didn’t have to finish each edge. This saves time.)chair pocket

  5. Sew one seam down the edge you cut.

  6. Fold the bottom of the pillowcase up to the top creating a pocket.

  7. Viola!

    chair pocket

    I had extra pre-cut fabric; so, I made another pocket. I also used the extra fabric that I cut off the pillowcase to add a little front pocket which utilized most of the fabric. Therefore, there wasn’t much waste.

During this project, I was profoundly reminded about the importance of literacy. Like most projects, it didn’t go smoothly when I got out my sewing machine. My sewing machine got jammed, lost a screw, and had other challenges. Since I only sew about once every ten years, I didn’t know what to do.

I got out the instruction manual. All the diagrams looked like scribbles to me. Therefore, I had to rely on the written directions that accompanied the illustrations. I wouldn’t have been able to solve the problems without being able to read. Therefore, once again, I am reminded that reading is life. Everything we do involves reading. 🙂

Let’s make a positive difference ~ one word at a time.


Please share this article with others that you think would benefit from these tips. Also, please ask any questions that you may have about teaching children reading or writing. Leave your questions in the comments. I’ll answer.

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